Executive Director: Michael Loadenthal

Michael Loadenthal

Dr. Michael Loadenthal is a Visiting Professor of Sociology and Social Justice at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and the Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He completed his PhD in 2015 at George Mason University, and previously completed an MLitt at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews in 2010. Dr. Loadenthal has taught courses on political violence, terrorism and sociology at Georgetown University, George Mason University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Malta, and Jessup Correctional Institution. Michael has served as the Dean's Fellow for the George Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, a Practitioner-In-Residence for Georgetown's Center for Social Justice, and a Research Fellow at Hebrew Union College's Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems. His work has been published in a variety of venues including Critical Studies on Terrorism, Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Perspectives on Terrorism, Journal of Applied Security Research, Journal of Feminist Scholarship, Journal of Radical Criminology, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies and other social movement and political theory journals and books.



Conference Coordinator: Sherrie Alexander

Sherrie Alexander photo.jpg

Sherrie Alexander is a master’s student in anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Inspired by many years as a wildlife rehabilitator, her research interests include human-animal interactions and peace and conflict studies. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Southeastern United States on Muslim foodways and studied human-macaque relationships in northern Morocco. Her thesis explores how peace and conflict studies may be a useful tool in solving human-wildlife conflicts, which are often rooted in underlying human-human conflicts.





Student Research Assistant Team

In conjunction with the Executive Director, a team of Miami University students within the Social Justice Studies program are providing research support to help grow and develop PJSA's many resources. Currently these students are engaged in a variety of projects including building a bi-national departmental directory of peace and justice studies programs, the development of a syllabi repository, supporting PJSA's annual conference, and the development of outreach and publication materials. In the future, PJSA hopes to constitute additional student research teams at other universities.

Interested faculty members, and those seeking more information on how you can plug in, please contact us.



Hayley Atkins is a senior studying Political Science and International Studies at Miami University, with a minor in Latin American Studies.  In addition to PJSA, she is currently the secretary of the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and is actively involved in the Miami Apiculture Society. She has a job as a veterinary assistant at Mt. Pleasant Animal Hospital, and volunteers at the Hefner Zoology Museum. Hayley is very interested in the relationship between conflict and conservation efforts, and wants to work for a nonprofit that addresses the socio political aspects of environmentalism.

Hayley is working on coordinating with featured speakers for the upcoming conference. [Team Member: Fall 2017 - present]



Emma Belanger

Emma Belanger is a senior at Miami University majoring in Software Engineering with a minor in Humanitarian Engineering & Computing. She is involved in Kode2Learn, where she teaches local elementary school students how to code and a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity. Emma is passionate about human-computer interaction and hopes to pursue a career as a software developer after graduation.

Emma is currently working on updating information and layouts on the PJSA website, and helping to omplement the new content collection and managment system for the Peace Chronicle. [Team member: Spring 2017 - present]



Tori Cheffer

Tori Cheffer is a sophmore at Miami University majoring in Business Economics. She is from Belleville, Illinois which is just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Tori is an active member of Women in Economics, CRU,  and Nourish, an organization whose mission is to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty through social entrepreneurial endeavors. Tori is very passionate about experiencing different cultures, and plans to intern abroad this summer. After graduating from Miami University, she plans to attend law school, and work as a non-profit lawyer. 

Tori works on multiple projects for PJSA. Currently, she is working on the website and departmental directory design team with Kate. Tori also works as a liaison between the different schools involved and PJSA. [Team member: Fall 2016 - present]



Maddie Gordon is a freshman at Miami University majoring in Social Justice Studies. Maddie’s hometown is Kent, Ohio. Maddie is passionate about justice and equality for all and hopes to find a way to help improve others’ lives. Maddie is currently employed as a lifeguard at the university rec center and hopes to get involved throughout the year as she was in highschool. When Maddie graduates in 2021, she hopes to live in Washington, DC and work for a nonprofit that works towards equality for all.

 Maddie is part of the 2017 conference organzing team supporting the on the ground work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. [Team member: Fall 2017 - present]



Meekael Hailu is a freshman at Miami University. He is from Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago. He is majoring in Social Justice Studies, with a co-major in Sustainability. Meekael is passionate about Environmental Justice, and looks forward to pursuing a career regarding the Environment. Meekael was actively involved in High School, participating in some activities such as Speech Team, Debate Team, and Business Professionals of America. He looks forward to becoming involved with the various programs and activities that are offered at Miami.

Meekael is currently working to develop more effective social media and outreach for the association. [Team member: Fall 2017 - present]



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Jamaira Helm is a Junior studying Social Justice Studies and Individualized Studies from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jamaira is most passionate about issues involving race, class, and gender wants to help ensure justice for all. Along with PJSA, Jamaira is also involved with Miami University’s Black Women Empowered and Miami’s only multicultural sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma. When Jamaira graduates in 2019, she hopes to get a career working for a nonprofit or working for a campaign in the next election years.

Bridget is working on expanding the PJSA departmental directory into Canada. [Team member: Fall 2017 - present]


Bridget LaRock is a junior at Miami University majoring in Public Health and minoring in Sustainability. She is from Youngstown, Ohio. Bridget is a member of Delta Epsilon Mu, a professional pre-health fraternity on campus, and is involved in other organizations such as MEDLIFE, Women Helping Women, and Miami University’s Urban Cohort. After working on medical brigades in Nicaragua and Peru, Bridget has since become passionate about water, sanitation, and adequate healthcare access worldwide. After graduation, she hopes to continue traveling and earn a Masters in Public Health or Environmental Policy.  

Bridget is working on expanding the website and departmental directory into Canada. [Team member: Fall 2017 - present]



Glynis Lonnemann

Glynis Lonnemann is a sophmore at Miami University double majoring in Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies and Social Justice Studies. Glynis is from a small town outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a part of Southwest Ohio for Planned Parenthood. While unsure where the path will take her after she graduates in 2020, Glynis plans to continue pursuing higher education and becoming more involved in activism. 

Glynis serves as partner to Education for Global Peace (EGP), helping EGP develop a database of K-12 peace education. [Team member: Spring 2017 - present]



Brendan Newman

Brendan Newman is a sophmore at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is majoring in Public Health with a focus on infectious diseases and epidemiology with double minors in Bioinformatics and Business Management and Administration. He lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Brendan is involved in Model United Nations and works at the Miami Recreation Center. After graduating in 2020, Brendan plans to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology and work at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Defense. 

Brendan is working to as Co-Editor of the Peace Chronicle as well as the speaker logitcis team for the 2017 conference. [Team member: Spring 2017 - present]



Caitlin Marsengill is a sophomore at Miami University. She is from Sylvania, Ohio. Caitlin is double majoring in public health and social justice studies and minoring in Spanish. She is the publicity chair for Feminists Working on Real Democracy. When Caitlin graduates in 2020 she would like to graduate school to study epidemiology. She hopes to research health disparities, especially in women’s and LBGTQ+ health care.  

Caitlin is working on digital design for the PJSA Conference awards and events.  [Team member: Fall 2017 - present]


Marc Papa is a Senior studying French and Education at Miami University, and he is from Parma, Ohio (outside Cleveland). Marc is interested in educational policies for K-12 schools especially regarding interculturality, sexuality, and gender. Marc has been a part of Miami’s Howe Center for Writing Excellence, serving as both a writing consultant and student coordinator while conducting research on consultant training and mentoring. After graduation, Marc aims to teach at schools abroad before continuing into higher education.

Marc is working on updating information and layouts on the PJSA website. [Team member: Spring 2018 - present]



Katelyn Scheive is a junior at Miami University double majoring in Psychology and Integrated Social Studies Education. She is a part of Catholic Campus Ministry Board, choir, Cru, Alpha Phi Omega (a service fraternity), a neuropsychology lab, Faith and Fitness, and Break Out of Miami (alternative spring break). Katelyn is also a Resident Assistant. In the future, she is interested in teaching history and psychology, studying psychology, history, and/or education further, and being involved in a non-profit promoting global education.

Katelyn is part of the 2017 Conference organzing team supporting the on the ground work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. [Team member: Fall 2017 - present]



Tara Verghis is a senior at Miami University from Chennai, India and is majoring in Biology with a co-major in Environmental Science. She is a writing consultant at the Howe Center for Writing Excellence and a Research Assistant in the Social Roles  psychology lab. She is passionate about the intersection of different fields including conservation, environmental justice, mental health and social justice.

Tara is working on updating content and layouts on the PJSA website. [Team member: Spring 2018 - present]



Former Student Research Team Members

Ryan Jago

Ryan Jago is a sophmore at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio majoring in Psychology. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio. Ryan has joined 4 Paws for Ability, Secular Students of Miami, and Society for Psychological Inquiry as well as being a member of Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success.  Ryan’s career path includes going to get her Ph.D. and then becoming a clinical family and marriage psychologist. Ryan worked on the Departmental Directory, soecifially helping to catorgorize partner universities by membership status and creating a labeling system.  [Team member: Fall 2016 - Spring 2017]

Madeline Vanderink

Madeline Vanderink is a Senior at Miami University majoring in Finance, and minoring in Political Science. As a Political Science minor, she has learned a great deal about some of the conflicts and challenges to peace. Her hometown is Granville, a suburb of Columbus. In addition to PJSA, Madeline is involved in Miami’s chapter of Women in Business. She loves to travel and will be spent the spring semester studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Her career goal is to pursue a job in the financial services industry. [Team member: Fall 2016 and Fall 2017]


Kate Wisniewski

Kate Wisniewski is a junior at Miami University double majoring in Political Science and Crime, Law, and Social Justice with a minor in Spanish. Her hometown is Strongsville, Ohio. Kate is involved in Kappa Delta, 4 Paws for Ability, and works at the bookstore on campus. Kate has studied abroad in Fiji and has traveled to the Dominican Republic for a mission trip. Kate would like to work for the FBI or Homeland Security after graduating from Miami University in May 2019. Kate has worked on multiple projects for PJSA including the website and departmental directory design teams. Kate also helped as a liaison between the different schools involved and PJSA. [Team member: Fall 2016 - Fall 2017]